National Travel Survey: 2007

National Travel Survey: 2007 Interview data

Logo: National Statistics The Department for Transport has today published National Statistics from the 2007 National Travel Survey according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

The National Travel Survey (NTS) is a household survey designed to provide a databank of personal travel information for Great Britain. The report presents the results from the interview element of the 2007 survey. It does not cover data from the travel diary.

Key findings from the 2007 National Travel Survey include:

Car access and licence holding

  • Between 1995/97 and 2007 the proportion of households in Great Britain without access to a car fell from 30 per cent to 25 per cent, while the proportion of households with two or more cars increased from 25 per cent to 32 per cent.
  • Since 1995/97 the proportion of men with a driving licence has remained relatively stable, at around 80 per cent, but it has increased among women from 57 per cent to 63 per cent in 2007. Over the same period, licence holding among all those aged 70 and over has increased from 38 per cent to 52 per cent.
  • Public transport and active travel
  • Local bus is the most frequently used mode of public transport, with 28 per cent of respondents using a bus at least weekly in 2007. This compares with 10 per cent for taxi and 7 per cent for rail.
  • Weekly bus use is most common among those under the age of 30 and those aged 60 or older, while frequent rail and taxi use is most common among 17 to 29 year-olds.
  • In 2007, 58 per cent of respondents said they made a walk of 20 minutes or more at least once a week and 24 per cent said they did this less than once a year or never.
  • Fourteen per cent of respondents aged 5 and over said they cycled at least once a week.  This proportion was higher for children aged 5 to 15 than for adults, at 45 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.
  • Ten per cent of respondents said they made an internal flight within Great Britain at least once a year and 46 per cent had made at least one international flight from Great Britain in the last 12 months.

Social inclusion

  • In 2007 54 per cent of households in the lowest income quintile did not have access to a car, compared with 10 per cent in the highest income quintile. Motorcycle and bicycle ownership also increase with household income.
  • Those living in the lowest income households are most likely to frequently travel by bus or taxi, 44 per cent using buses and 14 per cent using taxis at least weekly. Frequent rail travel and cycling tends to increase with household income.
  • In 2007 25 per cent of those in the lowest income households had made an international flight in the last 12 months, compared with 71 per cent those in the highest income households.


  • The proportion of rural households that were within a 13 minute walk of a bus stop with at least an hourly service increased from 45 per cent in 1998/00 to 57 per cent in 2007.
  • In 2007 72 per cent of rural households were within 15 minutes of a grocery shop by foot or public transport and 52 per cent were within 15 minutes of a GP. In urban areas the figures were over 90 per cent and around 80 per cent respectively.
  • 90 per cent of households in rural areas have access to a car. Car access declines in more urban areas, being lowest in London where 57 per cent of households had access to a car.
  • Overall 3 per cent of people who were employed always worked from home and a further 15 per cent said it was possible for them to work from home. These proportions have been relatively stable since 2002.
  • Workers living in the highest income households were far more likely to be able to work from home (33%) than those living in the lowest income households (10%).

Road safety

  • In 2007 7 per cent of adults said they had been in a road accident in the 12 months before interview, including 2 per cent who had been injured in a road accident. In the majority of these incidents the respondent was a car occupant.
  • Respondents said that the police were aware of 59 per cent of injury accidents and 31 per cent of non-injury accidents.
  • Among 7 to 10 year-olds 85 per cent were usually accompanied to school by an adult in 2007, a slight increase from 81 per cent in 2003. The proportion of 7 to 10 year-olds usually allowed to cross roads alone has fallen from 19 per cent in to 13 per cent over the same period.

Notes to Editors

Figures for the bus availability indicator for England in 2007, given in Table 5.1, were revised in June 2009 when an error was identified with the previous figures

National Travel Survey: 2007 Interview Data  is published by DfT.

The 2007 National Travel Survey (NTS) is the latest in a series of household surveys designed to provide a databank of personal travel information for Great Britain.  The NTS has been running continuously since 1988, following previous ad hoc surveys. In 2007, data was collected from over 9,000 households, covering nearly 22,000 individuals. The survey is designed to pick up long term trends and is not suitable for monitoring short term trends.

The 2007 publication includes less information than usual due to quality difficulties with data taken from respondent diaries.  Data from the survey comes from two sources: interviews with people in their homes, and a diary that they keep for a week to record their travel.  Thorough checking of the 2007 data suggests that the data collected via interview is reliable but raised concerns about the quality of the diary data.  Specifically, there appears to have been an under-recording of short trips in 2007. Analysis suggests this is a result of changes that were made to the diary (even though these were extensively tested before being introduced) and in interviewer behaviour.  The publication therefore does not contain any data from the travel diaries. Instead, all the results published are based on data collected via the interviews with respondents, and include more detailed analyses of these interview data than have been published previously.

The diary was redesigned for the 2007 survey to make it both more appealing to respondents and easier for them to use. The diary was subject to extensive testing, details of which are available on the Department's website. The travel diary appeared to be working well, but from April/May 2007 onwards there appears to be an under-recording of short trips. A programme of work is in place to investigate this issue and to produce corrective weights to apply to the 2007 diary data. It is expected that travel diary data for 2007 will be published in 2009.

In addition 'National Travel Survey 2007 Technical Report' is also published today.

Publication details

Published on 28 August 2008 by Transport Statistics.

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